Interview with ENS team (Virgil Griffith)

Aug 6, 2018 · 2 min read

In our third ENS team member interview, we interviewed Virgil Griffith, probably one of the most eccentric bizops in the Ethereum universe.

Hi, Virgil. Can you let me know a bit more about your background?

Well, I have a PhD in Theoretical Neuroscience from Caltech. I also have about ~6 years experience working with The Tor Project. My Erdős number [via Jonathan Harel] and Bacon number [via Curtis Armstrong] are both 3. I’ve been working for Ethereum Foundation for about 2 years.

Can you let me know how you got into Ethereum and ENS?

I actually met Vitalik before Ethereum. While I was a graduate student Vitalik slept in my closet for about two months. Fun fact, when Vitalik told me about his idea for Ethereum. I counseled him not to do it — I said his Ethereum idea was “too ambitious”.

I got into ENS because I wanted to see Ethereum used for something “serious” that required very high uptime. ENS seems like a great first use-case to demonstrate the power of the Ethereum platform to improve longstanding infrastructure.

You have been traveling around the world (often with Vitalik). Tell us more about the experience.

Vitalik still travels economy class. When traveling, Vitalik is a lot more productive than I am. For westerners, I suggest Singapore and Seoul — -those are both pretty foreigner-friendly.

Virgil in the front line of the Badger Dance at Edcon Toronto 2018

What is your current focus in terms of ENS development?

Just by being based in Singapore, I get roped into doing the bizops for ENS (lawyers, contracts, personal assistants, etc).

Short term, I wish to see the integration of ENS with ccTLDs and gTLDs.
Medium term, I want to see ENS with an .ARPA domain. Say ETH.ARPA or ENS.ARPA.

In the end-game, I want ICANN to accept ENS into their approved-tent. After that, Ethereum is officially part of the world’s internet infrastructure. That is the win.

What do you recommend to start from if someone wants to learn more about ENS?

I actually don’t know. I suppose watch Nick’s DEVCON talks?

If someone wants to contribute to ENS, where do you recommend to start from?

Help us make prettier UX to registering ENS names and using ENS names. I want something as easy as Coinbase for ENS.

When you are not working on ENS, what do you do?

I work at the Ethereum Foundation! I am part of “Special Projects”. Right now I’m spending time:

  • developing a wiki,
  • getting Ether shariah compliant
  • hiring for Ethereum Foundation
  • academic liaisons for Ethereum

Thanks Virgil!

Virgil cannot make it to our ENS hackathon because he is going to attend EthIndia(what a traitor!) . Who is going to steal Virgil’s awesome ideas to work on during ENS Hackathon?

The Ethereum Name Service

News about the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) from the team building it. Follow this publication for the latest ENS developments.


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The Ethereum Name Service

News about the Ethereum Name Service (ENS) from the team building it. Follow this publication for the latest ENS developments.

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